Bait and Switch and Switch and Switch

Kel has Raven Corby pinned down, much to Ottar's bemusement

Sick or not, Kel had always been a nimble young woman, and before long, she had caught up with Raven Corby and pinned her down.
"Let me go, witch!", yelled Raven as her faerie servant Ottar puffed himself up and twisted his face into a grotesque, shape that was all teeth, nails and fire. "Ottar, get her to-"

But Kel interrupted her.

"Shut up!" said Kel, and leaning closer to Raven's face, she added: "Sorry, just listen, OK? I can rid you of the curse."



You've got to admit, she looks uncomfortable down there.

"Talk", said Raven Corby to the naked redhead who was still keeping her pinned down on the floor.
"There isn't much to tell, really," said Kel from her lofty perch. "Sanderon did most of the work."
Meanwhile, two orderlies from the festival had walked over to check if one of the two women, or both, needed help. Jodoque was also on his way from the tent, bearing Kel's dress. Kel paid them no heed.
"After the birth of my daughter," she continued, "I was confined to the birth room for five days... But Mrs. Leppiainen..."

Kel interrupted herself to take her clothes from out of Jodoque's hands. "Thanks, love..."

"Ahem," said Raven. "Do you really need to sit on me?"



"...Mrs. Leppiäinnen the midwife sat up with me one day and told me about the magic of her homeland - a subject she knew intimately because of how it affected her position," said Kel.

"What she told me was this: 'If you know the origin, the birth of something, you control it.'"

Kel finished putting on her dress. "You, me and Sanderon know how the curse was born. He and I are witches, you are directly affected by it. We all want it to be over. So guess what? We own it. Over is what it will be."



Curse! I knew you from the egg! Begone!

That night, a motley group of witches, mages, berserkerettes and assorted misfits, plus one green faerie, watched by two very puzzled babies, marked the end of the Corby Curse, and the start of a peace process, with a suitable ceremony.

And in the morning, the two parties went their separate ways - Raven and Ottar to the Corby abode to spread the good news; Kel, Jodoque and Ragna's berserkerettes to the Llanfarythich homestead with their offspring.



Flattery will get you nowhere, Jodoque! Not even when you flatter her capacity for bullshit.



Naturally, Kel is unrepentant.



It's a family heirloom, not a curse!


A mop of terrifying aspect.

Once again, kel and her baby were greated enthousiastically by Atra, who was in her shirt, brandishing a mop of terrifying aspect. With manic energy, she welcomed Ragna and her baby into the house, although she insisted that the berserkerettes wiped their feet thoroughly.
On the spotless table, she then placed tankard upon shiny tankard of frothing ale.
And then, she explained that she had woken up in the morning with a feeling of profound relief, as though a black cloud had lifted from her mind.



The goodwill spreads... recovered on December 3, 2010.

Strangely, this was exactly how Jake the Gnome felt. One moment, he was on bended knees in Duchess Guðrún's office, begging the Gnomian envoys to take him home with them - the next, craving a beer and a leg of lamb. This puzzled the envoys somewhat.

AAAND... Mags and Carrie Corby went from fussing over what might have happened to Raven to a deep, satisfying sleep in a heartbeat.

AAAAND... No.
One of the Corby clan was feeling no relief whatsoever.



Trustunworthsome and eee-vile!

Ottar said to his master, Leroukh Corby, that he of all the faeries had chosen the worst sponsor. "Wythllew is a hallow-wounder, trustunworthsome and eeee-vile!"
It might have been wiser for the young faerie to consider his station, or maybe to work up to the bad news slowly. But rarely do the fay folk learn such virtues until they are well into their year of Serfdom.
"How dare you insult our ally? What's got into you?" barked Leroukh.
"Be not winkhooded by your lovemanship, Hlaford! Your match is guiltful of misdoing mickle!"



The bearfore's bone! 'tIs on your hat!


A blush and a facial twitch. Maybe a shrug.

Ottar had half hoped to see Wythllew shrivel up into a small purple imp upon mention of the pilfered bone, but all he got was a very faint blush and a slight facial twitch. Evidently, she had earned her current shape fair and square.
"Mylord, this faerie is treasonful! I cannot serve ye an if I must serve her as well. Give t'tothers my goodliest wishes."
The green faerie flew out through the window.
"What was about?" asked Leroukh Corby.
"Heed it not, my love," replied Wythllew.



Leroukh isn't convinced, but Hudde Corby is.

But Leroukh brushed the faerie off. The shaggy man was feeling the urge to change into his bird form, and that always made him touchy. Besides, he wasn't too sure if Ottar hadn't been telling the truth. Faeries, after all, don't usually break off their Rite of Serfdom over trivial matters.
"Raven," he said. "What's going on?"
"Didn't you notice? The curse has been lifted!"
Leroukh wanted to ridicule the very idea, but he was further distracted by Hudde Corby bustling in.



Returns from a job hunt!

Hudde also looked as if a great weight had lifted from his shoulders, and he also looked as if he was feeling very pleased with himself, which he was.
"Good news all! I've been hired as quartermaster for Duchess- I mean Duke Henry!"
"You?", asked Leroukh, "How?"
"Oh, I just walked in and asked if the post was still vacant. The Duchess gave me a contract right away, no questions asked. In fact, I think she rather fancied me."
Once again, before Leroukh could get a snide remark in, Jason and Caroline Corby barged in, looking very pleased with themselves.



Everyone keeps reporting in with success stories.


Say what you want about Leroukh, but he knows his dramatic poses.

"Don't give me that nonsense about the curse being over! We are still shapeshifters!"
Leroukh Corby disrobed and spread his arms theatrically. He could feel it in his bones - an almost lascivious desire to change into his other form, urgent but shameful. He let it overcome him.



Leroukh Corby has a sudden change of shape, and of heart...

The moment Leroukh completed his change into his bird shape, a feeling of profound relief washed over him. Driven by instinct, he flew up, sought out the window, and took his leave of the Corby household and the human world forever.
Dumbfounded, Wythllew stared at the window until the realisation sank in - that he was gone and wouldn't come back. The curse had ended for Leroukh Corby as well. Raven whistled a simple little tune that grated on Wythllew's ears in the same way that the smell of socks offended her nose.




Wythllew makes herself scarce

Wythllew knew that she had lost. She hadn't just lost the war against the Llanfarythich household, but also the first man she had loved in more than fifty years. She wasted no time arguing with the other Corbies. Resolving to keep the area around her tree free of Pongwhiff spores from now on, she retreated into her own world.
"Good riddance," said Caroline Corby.


Edit history: Page was a double episode until January 6, 2011. On that date, the second episode was moved to its own page and the art for both was reuploaded in a larger file size and with greater clarity.



Mayhem! Well, crying babies



A problem is solved  by an unjobsome faerie.

Kel was about to silence her baby in the most obvious way available, but Ragnarok stopped her.
"You know Sanderon said I should feed your baby for a few days because of the poisoning," she said.
"Oh, come on!" said Kel. "I'm about to burst here!"

Jake the Gnome, who had listened into the conversation, stroked his beard thoughtfully.
"Hmmm," he said. "You know, I could fix up a pump like the Gnomian amazons use. That'd help you out with that problem, I think."

Kel sat down. "All right. But if you girls are all staying, who's gonna cook for all of - "
A knocking at the door interrupted her.

When Kel opened, she was met by a small green face floating at about eye height. "Unjobsome faerie hither," said the face. "Can ye out-help me?"




Ottar's new allegiance is inaurated with a plane, yet foodsome repast, and absent folks are fondly recalled.

"Can you cook?", asked Kel.
And so, later that evening, Ottar inaugurated his new position with a simple yet nourishing dinner for the entire company. A splendid time was had by all: Kel, Jodoque, Atra, Jake , Hildegard, Siobhean, Bintsha, Fay, Harold and Ottar - and even by Ragna, although as the beer wore on, she got more and more mindful of the one gang member who was still missing.

But then, they say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and if that was ever true for any specific person, then Tamlin was that man.